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back to article Spectrum-guzzling operators will TAKE TV off THE AIR

Ofcom has threatened to put the spectrum used by broadcast TV on the block. Speaking at this week's Westminster eForum on spectrum policy, Ofcom's Hyacinth Nwana made several references to the 700MHz band that carries about two-thirds of our national (digital) television broadcasting. He said it was "open to discussions" and …

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FAIL

Pointless and Cruel?

Erm...Isn't that what is known as commercial risk? Mobile TV outside of 3G was a solution looking for a problem, as 3G so very nearly was. If backhaul providers get too involved with the service in order to make the numbers work in their own minds, they then can't think of an alternative use for it without appearing to have screwed up. They got it cheap and you don't want to force them to use it. How else do you want to tickle their tummies? Ban Lilly Allen?

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Gold badge

Indeed

If I waste many millions making umbrellas with holes in that nobody wants, that is my fault for not knowing what the market wants.

As for forcing them to use it, if one of Ofcom's objectives is efficient use of the airwaves, then they are failing that objective too (as well as all the others). They should ensure that it is used. If the company with the license cannot use it, they should be forced to allow someone else to; Lease it or sell it, but make sure it's used. If the Ofcom auctions were really about making sure it's used, then they would do that. However it just seems to be another government shop selling off the silver...

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Happy

"British Entertainment Industry told us that our TVs would go silent "

Best news I've heard all day!

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Silver badge
Joke

Surprised you didn't go for the big spectrum waster

ITV plc.

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"and exchange for shiny new kit paid for by the taxpayer"

That's not true. The owners are being paid only around HALF of the estimated replacement cost, and even that half is being at least partially funded by selling the equipment in working order to countries that can make use of it -- though I can't imagine that amounting to much once the handling company has deducted its costs.

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Spelling

Arqiva not Aquiva.

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Grenade

Should've

Spectrums and channels should be awarded to the companies that develop the best proposals for use, not the one with the biggest pockets. The more that is paid, the lower denominator of viewing demographic must be targeted in order to re-coup the inflated costs.

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MJI
Silver badge

TV companies can jam them with their transmitters

Tell BBC ITV ect "We are having your terrestrial frequencies"

BBC ITV ect says tough we have these big jammers - like Crystal Palace, Sutton Coldfield

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Anonymous Coward

If...

If they want to free up spectrum they should ban all those +1 channels. Each and every one of them is a complete waste of spectrum. Their only purpose seems to be for broadcasters to hog channels to stop somebody else using them, while spending nothing on extra content.

The worst offender is surely channel 4. I have something of a problem with them as a whole. State owned yet commercial TV hogging loads of channels mostly with multiply repeated shite.

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MJI
Silver badge

+1 and the logo ridden

Lets have HD with a _decent_ bit rate!

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Alert

An odd sort of victory...

The PMSE (Programme Making & Special Events) crowd have already won one (1) battle.

That's if having to surrender the tools of ones trade, i.e. perfectly good equipment with years of working life left in it, in order to clear the way for a different industry and receiving just over half of the value of that equipment back in exchange is considered "winning". It is only One battle; who knows how many more there are still to be fought, but one thing is certain, it's not over yet - unless someone finds a way of manufacturing new spectrum!

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Troll

to the point

"But these days Ofcom's policy is to let the free market decide, and rely on the flawed premise about auctions to ensure efficient spectrum utilisation (which is Ofcom's remit: competition is to be encouraged, but only because it encourages greater exploitation). "

That isn't a government agency, is it? For shame, for shame.

Glenn

Great point, by the way.

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Gold badge

"Use it or lose it"

Is an excellent policy. Here in the states, for analog on 800mhz, since it was designed after Bell was broken up, one band was for the wireline company and the other for an independent. Once auctions and sales began, the FCC put a buildout date on the licenses, if some percentage of population is not covered by the date, the license reverted to the FCC. The first 1900mhz auctions did this too. It worked pretty well, where I live I've got 3 out of 4 national carriers to choose from and 2 local cell phone carriers (plus all the MVNOs). The later licenses did not have the buildout requirement, but there've been loads of sales from one carrier to another anyway. Carriers might want to sit on spectrum to harm the competition, but inevitably find another carrier's offer too lucrative and sell. A second part of this is "disaggregation", carriers here have for instance split a 15mhz (paired) license into 3 5mhz slices, selling each one seperately.

Anyway... I am concerned by TV spectrum being taken away as well. Here, a few cell cos that have worked hard on network tuning, they say there's no spectrum crunch (Verizon is of this opinion.) Some others (AT&T among them) say they need tons more spectrum, they want to cut yet more channels out of the TV band and sell them off. The 700mhz spectrum sale here sold 52-68 (and so 2-51 is still plenty of channels to avoid interference) but selling off another large block and it'd be difficult to avoid serious problems with cochannel interference.

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